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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  March 3, 2016 3:00am-6:01am PST

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. good morning, it's thursday, march 3, welcome to "morning joe." we have a lot to get to this morning. some breaking news developing late last night. with us we have veteran columnist in and msnbc contributor mike barnicle. president and ceo of politico jim vandehei. pulitzer prize winning historian jon meacham. >> you won a pew litzer? >> he loves everyone knowing about that. he took a picture. and in washington, michael steele. managing editor of bloomberg politics mark halperin also with us. mike, you obtained a copy of the speech that mitt romney is going to be giving later today. he is going to be slamming donald trump, calling him -- and i got this, willie, mark got a little bit of exactly what he's going to say. calling him -- let me see if this is seringly clear enough. calling him a phony, a fraud and playing the american people for suckers. so i guess he's not going to mince words today.
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>> and a stark contrast from four years ago when he stood with donald trump and saw his support when he was running for president. it's remarkable mitt romney has become the lead hatchet man against donald trump tweeting about him. now this press conference. the question is, does it make any impact or does it allow donald trump to say there goes to establishment again, they ear out to get us. >> i think that's exactly what -- you know, it's obamacarement unless you've got a better option, stop dising it. we'll see. that happens later today. also, donald trump will be on the show this morning so we'll ask him about that and he will be talking about that but also we have a lot of other questions for him so it's good that he's coming on. ben carson, is he in or out? i don't get it. we'll get to that. >> take a guess. >> it was sort of -- i guess he's not going do the debate -- >> it was a pre-suspension. >> first step. first step. >> that happened, too. but first, this developed late yesterday evening.
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a staffer for hillary clinton who helped set up her personal e-mail server has been granted immunity from the justice department according to the "washington post." citing a senior law enforcement official, the paper reports brian pagliano's cooperation was secured as part of an ongoing criminal investigation. pagliano worked on a clinton campaign and helped set up the server in 2009 in the family home in chappaqua and was paid as a consultant. the justice department declined comment as did pagliano's attorney. a spokesman said he is pleased pagliano is cooperating with the doj noting they urged him to give evidence in september of 2015. instead he invoked his fifth amendment rights while appearing before a closed-door meeting of the benghazi committee. top senate committee chairmen also offered him immunity at the time to testify, something has changed. since its discovery, the server has been at the center of headlines, a federal investigation and a political
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tug-of-war between both parties. the "new york times" reports that the fbi could seek to question the former secretary of state and top aides in the coming weeks and that the investigation could be wrapped up by may. her campaign told the paper they've been cooperating and offered in august to meet with the justice department if needed. and earlier this week the state department released the last of the trove of more than 50,000 pages of clinton's personal e-mails. more than 2,000 were marked classified. 22 were the highest level of sensitivity, top secret. clinton and the state department have said that none of the material was marked classified at the time it was sent. willie? >> let's get more on this. joining us now, "washington post" national security reporter adam goldman who broke this story yesterday. adam, great to have you with us. help us comb through it a bit. you reported the fbi is likely to want the interview secretary clinton herself and many of her aides. what is the peril for her as we look through all this? >> well, there's legal exposure.
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any time you get in the room with fbi agents who are conducting a criminal investigation. as you might remember, we saw this with martha stewart who didn't do anything wrong until she talked to fbi agents and lied to them. so there's a political question, a legal question for the hillary campaign. do they talk to fbi agents so they can wrap up this investigation? if she doesn't, then her opponents in the race might say "why isn't the potential contenders for the presidency cooperating with the fbi? ." >> this is only one of six investigations. if the fbi sends this to the grand jury, if the justice department decides to prosecute and press charges here, what is the worst outcome for hillary clinton in this case? >> you know, i don't want to say that hillary is the target of this investigation, i don't know that to be true. but certainly the fbi is looking at anybody who sent or received this classified information.
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it's difficult to say what the worst outcome is. many people have told us that the investigation of general petraeus and his outcome really means that -- really could affect what happens in the hillary investigation. he was hit with a misdemeanor in the end so in he did something some people believe to be more egregious, what are you going to do with these people. >> so back up a little bit and define what it means to grant someone immunity. in what context would that happen? because i think that's delight the underlying story. >> well, there are two types of immunity. there's transactional immunity which means we'll give you immunity for every bad thing you've ever done in your life and then there's use immunity. use immunity is just what are you telling me now, we'll immunize you against that and anything you might have to say about the current situation. and that's the more common one, which was probably what pagliano got. look, i think -- well, a, this
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is another indication this is a serious fbi investigation. and what it shows is that the fbi and prosecutors are doing what they need to do to complete this investigation. you needed brian pagliano to talk to you. you needed to hear from the guy who set up the server and what did he know? but he's a bit player in this, obviously, because he didn't send or receive this classified information so it's a sign the investigation itself is progressing. >> okay. the "washington post" adam goldman, thank you very money. we should also note we're going to be joined later by former attorney general michael mukasey for his insight on that. let's go around the table. everybody give me a sense of what this tells us, what we know. i'll start with mark halperin. you've been following this along with every other aspect of the investigations, so to speak. what does this tell us? what do we know? >> well, look, the fbi, as the clinton administration says, doing a security review
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according to the "washington post" story and my sources they've determined this was not handled well. the question is, does this rise to the level of criminality. i think well before we got to that point, either on the part of secretary clinton or anyone else, there would be interviews and the clinton campaign is clever will i now saying look, we like this cooperation, secretary clinton will cooperate. they want to diminish the political impact that will come if she's called in to testify, probably not before a grand jury but simply an interview with fbi agents but this is going to bring back democrats who were worried about bernie sanders for a while, forgot to some extent politically about this investigation. there's no indication she'll be indicted. there's no indication anyone will be indicted but the investigation continues and if it goes from a security nov investigation to a criminal investigation, that would be a huge problem. >> mike barnicle, can the campaign say this is much ado about nothing, we've been trying to talk to them? or will they say it's something bigger. >> they won't say it's much ado
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about nothing but they'll probably say they're glad mr. pagliano is testifying because they view his testimony as being favor to believe hillary clinton's case, perhaps. but the timetable for when he will be interviewed, i don't know what that is. but the timetable of this issue propping up certainly isn't helpful in the public's eye. >> jim vandehei, the timing? >> well, it's also a reminder for people who say donald trump can't win the presidency if he wins the nomination is that if you look at the exit polls for hillary clinton, you have lower voter turnout but the number of people who think she's dishonest, in the democratic party. not just democrats and republicans. the more this hangs out there, the more it reinforce what is people never liked about the clintons. >> jon meacham, ever seen anything like this before? any president? >> it's like lucy and the football. clintons' opponents have always believed that this investigation or this scandal, this next thing was going to bring them down. and they've endured and so i just would -- no one is writing
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a pre-obituary but i would be scareful about that. >> michael steele, what will the republicans do with this, do you think? are there any options for them here? >> oh, definitely there's the poisoned pill of having immunity being granted to someone associated with the hillary clinton operation, which has all kinds of nefarious undertones to it. so that's going to be the political spin on this and it's one more reason why people don't trust her, why they don't like her and have that kind of weigh down her campaign. i think the comments around the table when you sum it together for hillary, this is a piece of baggage she does not want to carry but she has to. she's going to try to carry it lightly. the republicans are going to try to weight it down as much as they possibly can. we've got our own problems, as you know, with donald trump and the infighting over him. that is going to take a side step to this because this has morelolitical fodder longer
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term for the gop. >> this is an uneasy time, willie geist. >> this is one. there are five other investigations including two out of the state department so this story will be around for a while. as republican candidates are set to meet tonight in detroit for their 11th debate, there are new efforts under way to stop the man who's won 10 of the first 15 contests. the prevailing strategy centers on denying donald trump enough delegates to have a majority going to the convention this july rather than defeating him outright in the primary. several major republican donors behind an anti-trump super pac are recruiting former jeb bush donors as the delegate stakes get high we are winner take all primaries march 5. the pac plans to spend millions in missouri, florida, and illinois. and that's just the beginning with katie packer telling politico "in 2012 we spent $10 million against newt gingrich in florida alone." this as the conservative club for growth announced it is putting $1.5 million behind this
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ad in florida. >> but who has trump ever actually taken on? he hides behind bankruptcy laws to duck paying his bills and kill american jobs. he even tried to kick an elderly widow out of her home through eminent domain. real tough guy. >> and as we mentioned at the top, the former standard bearer for the republican party, mitt romney, is about to address the state of the republican race, making a formal speech in utah this morning. romney is not expected to endorse a candidate but will instead level a broadside against donald trump modeled on ronald reagan's 1964 "time for choosing" speech. in excerpts released this morning thanks to mark halperin, the former massachusetts governor leaves trump out of the candidates with serious policy proposals saying "donald trump says he admires vladimir putin while he's called george w. bush a liar. that's a twisted example of evil trumping good." he also said trump relishes any
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poll that reflects what he thinks of himself, but polls are also saying he will lose to hillary clinton, a person so untrustworthy and dishonest as hillary clinton must not become president. but a trump nomination enables her victory. romney is also expected to say donald trump is a phony, a fraud, his promises are worthless as a degree from trump university. he is playing the american public for suckers. he gets a free ride to the white house and all we get is a lousy hat. his domestic policies would lead to recession. his foreign policies would make america and the world less safe. he has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president and his personal qualities would mean america would cease to be a shining city on a hill. but trump did not wait for the barbs to come tweeting late last night "looks like two-time failed candidate mitt romney is going to be telling republicans how to get elected. not a good messenger." mark halperin, you got your hands on this speech, you've
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been processing. i mean, there are some problems with mitt romney making this speech, are there not? >> well, he can't stop donald tru trump. the three candidates left in the race -- kasich, cruz and rubio are the ones that have to do it. these outside. campaigns are part of the realization that if donald trump is going to have to be stopped, it will happen in the next two weeks, particularly in florida and ohio and maybe michigan and mitt romney wants to frame the argument. he does have a unique voice in the party. this speech, the parts of it i've seen, are very tough on trump and on hillary clinton and i don't think people should overstate the impact it can have. but on the day of the debate leading up to tonight's debate there will be discussion of the ideas mitt romney is putting forward about donald trump and trump's reaction to it and that's part of what governor romney i think wants to see, which is a more rigorous discussion of what his view seasoned s and what that wing of
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the party's view is of donald trump. >> in talking to several romney people yesterday i got the impression this had been building for a long time with the former governor. he's not going to -- my understanding is he's not going to endorse anyone today. but what's your view of the background of this speech? the buildup to this speech? why is it happening now? >> there are a lot of people who would like governor romney to run. that's not what today is about. there are a lot of people who believe mitt romney needs to be part of speaking out against donald trump. he took his endorsement four years ago. he didn't make donald trump but he was part of validating him as an important figure within the republican party four years ago. so part of it is about trying to say here's what i think about donald trump now. he's tweeted on the tax returns. he's tweeted on the kkk thing over the weekend. but this is an attempt before it's too late in the view of many people -- and i've been talking to people in the republican establishment now since super tuesday quite a bit, as have a lot of reporters, this is part of an effort that mitt romney wants to help lead to say
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to the party this is a huge mistake, don't nominate donald trump, it's not too late to look to one of these other three guys. part of what's behind the scene, mike, is governor is not sure which of the three candidates can stop him so today he'll praise cruz, rubio, and kasich and say they're all good. >> i have a thought on that. >> that reflects the establishment's problem which is they don't see yet one person in the field who can stop donald trump. they're trying to do a group effort. >> meacham than willie. meacham? >> mark, do you have any sense from the text or what you've heard, will romney deal with the fact that he sought and received the endorsement last time? >> i don't know that he's explicitly going to engaged on that based on what i've seen on the speech. but he's well aware -- what his team said was it was a necessary thing to do in order to try to neutralize donald trump and in part a -- an understanding at the time that donald trump was not an easily controlled political force. i asked the same question,
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whether he's going to sort of own up to that but as i said, they don't believe they made donald trump simply by taking his endorsement. >> let's look at that endorsement. four years ago and a month, february 2, 2012. >> it's my honor, real honor and privilege to endorse mitt romney. [ cheers and applause ] mitt is tough, he's smart, he's sharp. he's not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country that we all love. so governor romney, go out and get them. you can do it. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you. thank you. there are some things you can't imagine happening in your life. this is one of them. [ laughter ] being in donald trump's magnificent hotel and having his endorse system a delight.
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i'm so honored and pleased to have his endorsement. of course, i'm looking for the endorsement of the people of nevada. donald trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the american people. i want to say thank you to donald trump for his endorsement. it means a great deal to me to have the endorse mement of mr. trump and people across this countly who care about the future of america. >> this is the problem. this is the problem. you can't get real now. you can't start telling the truth now. that's what everybody's doing. this is the problem. michael steele, you heard from mark halperin saying mitt romney has a unique voice in the party. well, that's double speak. we're going to hear him saying one thing out of his mouth a few years ago as willie just showed us and another thing today? you know what? if you don't have something to offer, if you're not going to jump in and get the fight then what is it that you're saying or doing at this point? donald trump is going to eat up.
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eat him alive. he's going to take that thing right there, instagram it, cut it together. we've already seen this story and it hasn't happened yet. i know how it ends. >> this is part of the problem. i don't know they think this is going to work in the first place. i don't know who they think this is going to influence in the second place. keep in mind, mitt romney lost three million republicans who did not even bother to show up at the polls in 2012 to vote for him because they did not support his campaign so to double back and go after the very guy who has brought them back into the party -- you cannot lose sight of the fact that regardless of what you think about donald trump and feel about him, the establish system going to need this man if -- even if he's not the nominee because he's bringing voters back in who have not been a part of this process, have not participated for some time. >> that is correct. and they have a voice, too.
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>> they have a voice. so you're going go after the guy who they're now rallying behind. i don't understand what they think is going to happen here. all this does in my view from what i'm hearing from around the country is strengthening donald trump's hand. >> i can tell you what's happening. this is going to strengthen donald trump and jim vandehei, have you heard from trump voters? they do have a voice and there are thousands of name go to his rallies and are showing up at the polls as we've seen now. how many times do we have to say this? how many states have we done? you can't just hate him. you have to act. >> we have to act. everybody want this is profile in courage because they're standing up to donald trump. where the hell were you a month and a half something that imagine if they had. you talk about the club for growth. they'll put a million and a half into florida? who cares, that will move like four people. you have to put tens of millions of dollars into two states, you need do it right away and they should have done it a month ago. if you would have moved voters by 3% in virginia you would have had -- you would have potentially had a trump loss. if you did in the vermont or arkansas you could have had him
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finish third in iowa but nobody spent the money when it was tough to do now i'm skeptical of these stories you're talking about. until you see real people put real money into real states, it's fun speculation and it will be too late by the time they act. >> mark halperin, it seems you have these two lanes among republicans and conservatives. you have establishment people. look at the list of groups out there today. mitt romney, a group of wall street guys getting together to put money up against trump, a group of republican foreign policy experts writing a letter to condemn him. you have groups at the top who don't like donald trump and are telling everybody they don't and you have to voters who keep turning out for him. >> well, look the smart people in the stop trump movement recognize their rhetoric and reality has to be about voters. it has to be to some extent about grass-roots and persuasion of real people. >>. they won't beat anymore a smoke-filled room. they won't beat him in a corner table at the palm in washington. they won't beat him with great ads that are negative or mitt romney's speech. it will have to be a cumulative
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effort that targets the real lives of voters looking in a sophisticated way at the calendar of primaries and caucuses where the upcoming ones may be tougher for donald trump and then at the convention where they know they can not play with the rules, they have to ef-a level playing field for trump and everyone else but they think it can be done. trump is the overwhelming favorite, most of the people involved in this movement know that but their rhetoric more and more will be about voters. >> mark halperin, i have to get to headlines. five second or less. can mitt romney enter the race? technically, could he jump in? >> he'd miss some ballot deadlines but he could. i think his people would want to take it at the convention. >> he's going to engage in name-calling today just like donald trump and not jump in. so great. we know how this ends. let's get to other headlines right now. in financial news, asian stocks closed mostly higher overnight. this came as crude oil prices hovered around $37 a barrel. right now, u.s. dow futures are up 20 points. new this morning, south korea's
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defense ministry is reporting north korea fired several short-range missiles into the sea today. it happened just hours after the u.n. unanimously approved its toughest sanctions yet against north korea in 20 years. the sanctions were in response to north korea's recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch. on capitol hill, the supreme court has taken up one of the most important abortion rights cases in decades. abortion clinics and doctors are challenging a texas law that they say has forced the number of state clinics to fall from 42 to 19 and it could drop to 10. the court's decision is expected to affect similar laws in 12 other states. it's the first high-profile case since the passing of justice antonin scalia and finally the $75 million civil trial involving sportscaster erin andrews was delayed yesterday after new allegations surfaced against a witness who testified this week. neal passkin, the representative of the corporation that owns the
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hotel where andrews was secretly filmed nude was accused of watching the video of andrews while at a restaurant with friends on tuesday night. a waitress told nbc news that he and his friends were making fun of andrews. in a statement, he acknowledged he was at the restaurant with friends and started to watch the video. he says he asked them to stop, which they did, but it was not as quickly as he had hoped. he added he would never disrespect ms. an drudrews and sincerely apologized. i will sincerely say i hope she gets everything that she's seeking against the hotel and anybody else involved. >> i agree. >> i cannot even -- i cannot even believe it. i cannot believe how badly played this case has been. there's no argument. >> totally agree. still ahead on "morning joe," the republican front-runner for president donald trump joins us. plus, former u.s. attorney general michael mukasey reacts to the breaking developments involving hillary clinton and the fbi. look at this. you know what's going on
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tonight? joe is at sound check right now. >> sweet. >> his band is performing at 8:30 on the upper west side at prohibition. he's the thursday night house band. >> that's a good name for a place for joe to perform. >> traffic is going to be horrible. there is so much going on. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. i the opportunity she deserves? is it finally witnessing all the artistic wonders of the natural world? whatever your definition of success is, helping you pursue it, is ours. t-i-a-a. ...another anti-wrinkle cream in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair works... ...in one week. with the... fastest retinol formula.
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27 past the hour. then there's this going on. there's the debate tonight. michigan is the site of tonight's debate, the smallest republican primary gathering yet, down to just four candidates vying for votes in the state's march 8 primary. that's because just hours after vowing to stay in the race, b carson has all but ended his bid for the republican nomination writing in a statement that he sees no politicalath forward after super tuesday. the retired neurosurgeon said he won't attend tonight's debate in his hometown of oit. carson's statement comes after earning just eight adelegates ad zero wins from the 15 republican contests so far. his campaign and said he would discuss his plans during his
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speech at cpac tomorrow. mark halperin, i guess he's dropping out. four people on the stage tonight. that's significant. what are your thoughts? especially that coming in light of just hours after mitt romney's speech. >> there's no doubt who the target will be tonight, who the foe clubs on. if you look at the fact that it marks the return of megyn kelly sitting on the stage with donald trump, this is probably going to be a high-stakes debate. of course michigan is an extraordinarily important state coming up. in addition to states voting this saturday with caucuses and closed events so trump can't draw on independencespects. trump doesn't do well in caucuses. he won in nevada which is a caucus/primary hybrid. so tonight's debate is a chance for three guys and the moderators to hold donald trump's feet to the fire and they should. getting the nomination should not be as easy as it's been for trump so far. it should be tough.
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he should have to run a gauntlet and tonight you'll see four people on the stage focused on trying to get donald trump's feet to the fire. >> mike barnicle? >> mr. steele, despite the n nonsensical talk into the there unf -- about the club for growth and pumping this money into the anti-trump campaign, doesn't this come down to florida and ohio and marco rubio and john kasich. >> at the end of the day this ends there for both of those campaigns. the reality right now is the beachhead, the firewall, whatever opportunity call it, is lined up in those two states. donald trump is slightly behind in ohio and some of the polling there. he's way ahead in florida. so the dynamic right now is to put the pressure on those two states which is what you're seeing. and this focuses more on the marco rubio beachhead than anything else because the establishment wants so much for him to rise up and make that a one on one because, again, they
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don't want cruz, a race between donald trump and rubio. but that at the end of the someday what this boils down. that's this effort by club for growth and others is to create a big enough wall to stop donald trump there and in worst-case scenario, mike, is to push this into the convention to get rubio and others close enough so that the battle for the delegates there doesn't look like they're taking something away from donald trump but it's just the natural flow of the campaign. >> okay. the act to stop trump maybe this time tomorrow we'll say was wrong but what i feel will happen is this is a huge softball to donald trump and the debate tonight. because you're going to have mitt romney, the grandfather of the republican party, making this speech calling him names. that will be lobbed at him during the debate and he will take that meat and as usual run with it and use his own words against him. trump voters like his message. they like winning. they like make america great
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again. they -- i don't think people this get this yet. >> well, there's been 15 states. the establishment has won one, minnesota, and they have zero chances of winning that in the general election. >> what's the establish. >> marco rubio. if marco rubio doesn't win in florida, he's ben carson, he has to get out of the race. all right, coming up, the "washington post" jonathan capehart joins us for the must-read opinion pages. first, we'll get former attorney general michael mukasey's expertise on the potentially significant developments in the investigations into hillary clinton's e-mail server. "morning joe" is back in a moment. you both have a perfect driving record.
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i used to like that song. this morning, there are new reports that the staffer who set up hillary clinton's personal e-mail server has been granted immunity from the department of justice. joining us now to dig into this, former u.s. attorney general under president george w. bush, michael mukasey. broadly first, granting immunity. what does that indicate? what is the act of granting immunity trying to accomplish and in what scenarios does this happen? >> they want to talk to him. >> and he didn't want to talk to them. >> he didn't want to talk to anybody. he took the fifth in front of the congressional committee and made it clear he was going to continue to do that until he was protected to the extent the constitution requires, that is that nothing he says can be used against him. >> so are there cases in which this happens and nothing comes of it and that it's just a
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matter of making somebody feel comfortable enough to talk and feel they won't be exposed in my way? >> yes. >> could this be much ado about nothing? >> given what else hathere is, t likely. >> okay. >> understand, there are 16, 17, 1800 classified e-mails on a non-classified server. somebody put them on there. and they didn't all start out that way. the notion that somehow they weren't marked when they were put on the server is a half-truth and one that's peculiarly designed to irritate anybody who knows the other half. >> going to open this up to the table but meacham left the set. what's the law that could be broken here? >> there are a couple of them. there's one that says you can't put classified information in an unclassified setting. that's the one that general petraeus was convicted of on his own plea. there's one that says that you can't expose national secrets through gross negligence. then there's one that says you
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can't destroy government information. and then there's one that says you can't obstruct justice. so there's four of them. >> what about the classification system itself? does it come into question? are too many things classified as top secret. >> too many things are classified as top secret but 1,600 things weren't classified as top secret particularly when 22 of them were so secret they couldn't disclose them to the public. so we're talking about human information, we're talking about satellite information. that's not overclassification. >> i know you don't have access to all the evidence -- >> i don't have access to any of it. >> as an attorney and former judge, what troubles you most? >> what troubles me most is the way that stuff got from the secret network within the government. that network doesn't talk to any other network. so what has to have happened is somebody took it off there and either transcribed it or sum rietzed it and then put it on her server.
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that's very troubling. >> doesn't that mean that most likely if there were to be charges in the case like this, it would be the staffers who did that versus it going up to hillary clinton? >> well, one of them just got immunity, that's the guy who set up the server. >> it's not versus because if she ordered that be done and there's one e-mail, you remember, where somebody says -- she's expecting talking points and he says well i need to get a classified fax machine and she says make it on paper and send it unclassified meaning take the marking off it, send it unclassified. if she knew that that was the way it was being done on her order, that's a problem. >> so what was your gut when you heard this happened last night? this gentleman, a fairly young guy who set up the server, was paid to do so. he also worked on her campaign in 2008. what is it he would be afraid -- if he was just contracted out to set up a server, why would he need immunity? >> because if he was contracted
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to set up a server that he knew was going to carry classified information relating to her job and do it without telling anybody then -- it's not necessarily that he's guilty of a crime but what he's protected against doing is giving any step that could lead to being charged with a crime. >> the campaign has said, jim vandehei, all along they wanted him to talk to officials. that they are willing to -- they would like this to move along. >> sure they'd like it to move along. but they'd like it to move out of there way and not be charges -- >> why are you smiling? >> i'm smiling because what else would they say? what else would they say "we're worried about this guy, we hope it doesn't --" of course they're going to say we want them to talk and we want stuff disclosed. it's class paid t ee's classifi disclosed. >> mr. pagliano took the fifth before a congressional committee
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months ago and people couldn't understand that. why has it taken so long for the fbi, the justice department, to grant him immunity now? why so long? >> because they have a lot of paper to look at and presumbly had a lot of other people to talk to. i don't know that but they may have been have had other people to talk to who were not invoking their rights but there was a lot of paper to look at and they also have to figure out precisely what they want to ask him. they need a lot of information in order to figure out what to ask him. >> former attorney general michael mukasey, thank you very much. a quick turnaround. thanks for coming in this morning. >> thanks for having me. the must-read opinion pages are next on "morning joe." trolling for a gig with braindrone? can't blame you. it's a drone you control with your brain, which controls your thumbs, which control this joystick. no, i'm actually over at the ge booth. we're creating the operating system for industry.
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visit myrbetriq.com to learn more. donny deutsch joins the table. >> howdy. >> why? >> wow. >> because i heard the professor canceled at the last minute. >> oh, my gosh. all right, and in washington, pulitzer prize winning editorial writer for "washington post" jonathan capehart. you're the only one who can take a punch like that and not punch
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back. >> because i know it comes from love. we only make fun of the ones that the take it and are strong and powerful and winners. >> no. no. >> people who run on winning, things like that. >> there you go. >> again, remember, you're here by marriage. all right, there's a great piece in the "wall street journal." take it away. >> "it's time for the speech. readers who have spent a lifetime of absorbing the melodrama of america's presidential election politics such as this one will recognize instantly what i am proposing here. it's time for marco rubio or ted cruz to deliver the speech -- or lose. the slurs, insults, and revelations about the full trump business biography are having an effect, but not enough to win. what would the speech do in 2016? it would do the same thing it did for kennedy, nixon, and obama. it would allow marco rubio or ted cruz to dispel the notion they are too glib, too opportunistic or too young. it would be a chance to go deep. the template for talking about a
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time of ideological and political confusion remains a time for choosing. read reagan's magnum opus and adapt it." and. >> and romney is doing that. >> thank you. mitt romney is actually not. he's actually going to be calling trumps name today which we saw marco rubio do. everybody tries to play that game and it doesn't work. i still don't understand how mitt romney's speech is going to work. >> you couldn't take a more irrelevant guy to play into trump's hands. >> right. >> the ultimate -- let's take the establishment guy, the ultimate thing he's run against that people are tired of and put him forward. >> right. so you're an expert in branding so you understand trump and you understand the way people think on a very shallow level. [ laughter ] >> yes, that's pretty much what i do. >> so let me ask you something, would a speech work for marco rubio or ted cruz? especially with the way their oratory works. marco rubio seeming like he's delivering lines and ted cruz overly dramatic to the point of
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ridiculous or would a speech deep on policy actually make a huge difference for donald trump? >> well, certainly the latter would matter. neither one of those guys have the commanding presence of a reagan -- >> i don't think a speech would work. >> -- or a kennedy so you need the messenger beyond the message. obviously the trump play book now is put meat on the bone. there's never been more sizzle in the history of politics and people are buying it and that's all he's got to do now. it's very, very simple. so there's no one speech that will derail right now. >> not with those two. >> now if ronald reagan came from the grave, if george h.w. somehow was healthy. >> if mitt romney jumped in and said i'm not only going to call him names, i'm going to push back and fight for this country i love, i'm risking everything and stepping in because we have to bring this guy down. >> that's a different story. >> that would be worth flying to utah for. >> but if he is not delivering new news other than donald trump is this. >> there's no news.
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>> if i'm trumping i'm sitting in my underwear going "i can't wait for this one. this is going to be fun." >> and it tees it up for the debate. he'll know what to say. jonathan capehart, it seems to me marco rubio and ted cruz can't win, though, because they tried going after trump on policy for months and months and months and people said "you have to go after him harder, get personal, go after his business record." so marco rubio starts to do that and people condemn him for that. you can't have it both ways, right? >> right. and i this i the attacks -- in that last debate marco rubio not only threw the kitchen sink at him but the pipes and everything else at him. but it's coming months and months too late. these are the sorts of things that should have been out there starting last summer, the moment he announced his candidacy -- talking about donald trump -- on june 16. this speech that the "wall street journal" is talking about that should be given, the republican primary electorate is too angry to hear whatever
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speech he -- they're suggesting and also it won't be powerful as long as there are four people left in the race. the others who are left -- kasich, cruz, and marco rubio -- if they all got together and decided which one was going to be the one to go up against trump and gave that speech which would then allow the primary electorate to focus on trump and the other guy then maybe it would work but, again, it's coming way too late, i think, to have any kind of impact. >> jim vandehei, it would seem that the -- what they're looking for is a moment and when the moment comes who is the messenger? it seems as if the only way to do trump, what romney will try to do today, is almost have a joseph welch/joe mccarthy moment as occurred in the united states senate. senator, after all of this do you have no sense of decency? but who's the messenger? >> i think that's the problem. watch tonight, i bet donald
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trump preempts all of this and starts to make the case on why he is an authentic conservative and why he can be a unifiers and why he can take the fight to hillary clinton and i think the juxtaposition of that message versus the others on stage going after him will only strengthen him. you got a taste of that yet if you look at what he said yesterday and you should ask him when he's on at 7:30. >> let's stop waiting for a nation rational moment. people are not voting for him for rational reasons. there's no moment -- the moment might happen with hillary clinton but there's no moment that will happen with this cast of characters. >> so this effort to stop trump is forgetting the swath of voters that are showing up at his rallies and voting at the polling booths, that like his message and that want to see more. they're completely -- you can't just throw names at him and think that that's going to stop him. >> i was doing -- started a call
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on sirius yesterday and the premise was how do women feel about donald and his bombasticne bombasticness. >> i don't think i want to hear this. >> well, almost to a woman they would call in and say "he says it like it is." "but do you agree with these things?" "no, but i still like that he says what it is." so this is purely right brain. >> you want to know why that works? it's more than right brain. we have video of mitt romney several years ago thanking donald trump for his endorsement saying it was amazing to be in his incredible mansion or wherever this endorsement was, talking about how honored he was to have donald trump's endorsement. that's what people are sick of. >> but that plays on trump doing the same thing on the other side. >> no, he's not. >> he's going to come out and say, you know, romney's an idiot but yet he was talking about how romney was the greatest guy in the world. so i think people understand politicians swivel either way. donald does it as much if not
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more than anybody else. we could run an hour of tape of him a, b, a, b, a, b. that's built into politicians. >> i'm not defending donald trump here but he's transparent about everything, thcan "that'si do." mitt romney, what are we going to do with this speech snowstorm are -- tomorrow? are we going to juxtapose it with a few years ago? >> i think mitt romney will say i was a businessman back then, i wanted his endorsement but now that he's going to lead the country, i don't think that's such a good idea. >> there's a problem there. >> but i don't think it's going to matter to donald trump's success that mitt romney and the club for growth and the super pacs and the wall street people are getting together. these are exactly the groups donald trump supporters are railing against. these are the groups driving his supporters to the polls. >> what has happened here over the past eight years is that
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people running for president today, all of them with the exception of donald j. trump have skipped over, missed the opportunity to talk about what happened to the american family in the winter of 2008 and 2009 when the economy shattered, millions lost their jobs, some lost their home, all of them, too many of them, lost their hope and for some reason, you go figure, he is addressing those anxieties. >> okay. and if we're going to be so unbelievably shocked and horrified that donald trump equivocated and -- the whole david duke thing about the endorsement, disavow, whatever, why did mitt romney taken a endorsement from somebody who does not stand for conservative values? somebody almost seen as a democrat. >> mika, the fact that he was happy to take his endorsement -- >> no! no, you don't taken a
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endorsement from someone you don't think stands for what you stand for, right? >> by the way, then christie -- why is trump taking christie's endorsement? that's politics. >> that's politics? >> that's politics. every one of them is guilty of that. every single one of them. you have christie standing behind him ready to give him a hot oil massage and two weeks ago -- [ laughter ] -- and two weeks ago he was calling him the devil. >> i think you better go to break. >> it's just politics. just politics. you don't to believe anything we say. it's just politics. jonathan capehart, thank you. jim vandehei, thank you as well. coming up, donald trump joins us live. we'll be right back. (patrick 1) how about a 10% raise? (patrick 2) how about 20? (patrick 1) how about done? (patrick 2) that's the kind of control i like... ...and that's what they give me at national car rental. i can choose any car in the aisle i want-
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you know segment joe called "what's happening?" what is happening? we've got the investigation into hillary clinton's e-mail server stepping up with a staffer getting immunity. so that heating up. we have mitt romney who was honored to receive donald trump's endorsement a few years ago calling him a loser and a fraud and worthless out in utah today to reporters. what is happening? what's going on? >> it's signs and wonders. it's the end times. >> is this it? >> we'll find out next. there's so much more going on to report on and donald trump will be joining us live as well. we'll be right back. ♪
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tough night for the senator. >> exactly. it's just like the rubio campaign plan -- >> sorry, his plan was to lose every state but minnesota? >> it's all a part of the strategy, trevor. phase one, lose 14 out of the first 15 states. phase 2, everyone thinks rubio's done so they drop their guard just in time for kansas this saturday. >> i see, so then he wins in kansas. >> no, that's too easy. he comes in third and then fifth place in colorado. [ laughter ] >> well, fifth place, there's only four candidates. >> exactly! then miraculously oregon and idaho merge into a superstate called idagon.
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idagon votes for marco because they love the cubans. now it's a race. we're on to new york. due a typo on the ballot everyone votes for donald stump. but there is no donald stump so boom, those delegates go to rubio. >> but even so there's not enough delegate for rubio to win the nomination. >> which is why in june marco tricks ted cruz into trading his delegates for a treasure map. now cruz is digging up a beach in bermuda, donald trump is the candidate and then he clicks his heels back to the convention. >> okay, we have mike barnicle, donny deutsch and former chairman of the republican national committee michael steele. joining us, political reporter for the "washington post" robert costa.
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joe, everybody around the set has been telling me it's just politic politics. >> you take it and it's just politics. it changes the front-runner. it's just business. and an e-mail server from her own house and it's really part of a process. itch to get your answer on that but first i want to get your take on hillary clinton. that e-mail server situation, haar staffer has been granted immunity and the "washington post" is citing a senior law enforcement official in reporting bryan pagliano cooperation was secured. pagliano worked on the clinton campaign and helped set up the server in 2009 at the family home in chappaqua and was paid as a consultant. the justice department declined comment as did pagliano's attorney. as for the clinton campaign, a spokesman said he's pleased pagliano is cooperating with the doj, noting they urged him to
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give evidence in september of 20 2015. instead he invoked his fifth amendment rights before appearing before a closed door meeting of the benghazi committee. a chairman offered him immunity at that time to testify. >> well, for people who have been supporters of hillary clinton, people in the press trying to dismiss this for six months saying it's much ado about nothing. the fbi is just interested in the process. we can make servers more safe in the future. that's never been the truth and i've had multiple sources in the administration that have been telling me there are over 100 fbi agents that are on this case and have been aively going after this case and when the news broke last night the "washington post" it was very clear that you don't grant immunity because you'
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you're curious about the process of how a server is set up and how classified information is passed along. they want to know who had access to classified -- and if they know people who had classified information and passed over an unclassified e-mail account they'll be charging people. you know why let's go back to the very fact. hillary clinton's attorney was carrying around a thumb drive with classified information outside information. that's a crime. and the fact is -- maybe it's just about process. it's a double standard of mammoth proportions. here's the rule. you talk to any intelligence officer or anybody high up in any intel committee, they will tell you. when you find out there is
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classified information outside of an agency here are two things, the first thing you do is seize the classified information necessary and the second thing you do is bring it into the agency and start the investigation on who is going to be charged. for some reason that hasn't happened here but while politicians have been going back and forth saying it matters, doesn't matter, the fbi under james comey have been doing their job, they've kept their heads down and they've dug into this. i think it's very ominous. i'm not saying hillary clinton is going to be indicted but certainly there are going to be staff members who thought they were doing what they needed to do for the secretary that are going to be under a great deal of duress and i'm sure they're getting lawyered up. joining us live from london, "new york times" correspondent steven lee meyer.
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steven, you write the fbi could question the former secretary of state and top aides in the coming weeks and the investigation could be wrapped up by may. her campaign told you they've been cooperating and offered in august to meet with justice department officials if needed so is this a matter of them finally coming together, the clinton campaign says they want to be as transparent as possible. >> that's right, they have said that and what we're seeing is the investigation coming to a climax in the next few weeks. and they say within six to eight weeks they can make a recommendation on whether or not to move forward with any kind of charges. >> well, what are the actual laws -- that we're look at that might have been broken here. i never understood just everyone has heard this but i never understood why the e-mail server was okay. but it seemed to pass through the press gaggle and the public.
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are there potential laws broken here? >> of course that's what the investigation is looking into. first of all, you have to question of the appropriateness of setting up a server outside of the government network. >> she's already said it was inappropriate. >> and they'll be looking at that. >> and she said that that was a mistake and that she should haven't done it that way. it's another question whether or not that's a crime. the issue with the classified e-mails is what information was classified in them and how they were handled. these are not classified documents that were being e-mailed back and forth according to people who have seen them. these are e-mails that deal with information, some of which the cia now says is class paid to. >> steven, thank you very much. joe, i guess that's the question, at some point the clinton campaign would like this put behind them in terms of whether or not a law was broken. they would like it unequivocally proven that that didn't happen. what's your gut? >> well, the statute actually
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speaks to -- you go through it and it talks about whether you pass along classified information information. at the beginning people in the media incorrectly said -- and a lot of people supporting hillary clinton incorrectly said the standard was that you knowingly and willfully passed along classified information to a thursday party. that's part of the statute. i suspect the part of the statute that would give staffers or the principals themselves the bigger problem has to do with "reckless" handling of classified information outside of a classified network. that's what they're certainly going to be looking at and the fbi is trying to determine whether her setting up a home-brewed server in chappaqua instead of keeping it inside the state department was reckless and if there was classified information that was passed along inside and outside of that
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server that would rise up to the level in the statute that would suggest there's a recklessness. if that is found, that recklessness is found, then obviously there could be criminal charges attached again to staff members most likely but possibly the secretary. >> joe, one of the more interesting sidebars is that over the course of this inquiry being made by the justice department and the federal district court the judge, emmett sullivan, federal district court judge, has been quite vocal and angry in pushing and prodding this case forward and you just wonder, everything in court, you're a lawyer everything in court at some level the human dynamic is important and the judge appears to be increasingly angry that it's taking so much time to get this thing done. >> that's why it never made sense to me, the judge's anger and the fbi's interest in this,
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again most everybody in washington has heard there's well over 100 fbi agents that have been working on this is. you don't do that for a process review of the handling of an e-mail account. you do that because you're digging down to see if somebody improperly, illegally passed classified information in and out of the stock market ate dep other agencies. the judge has been angry. is he's been angry at the state department and the attorneys and he's been trying to push this along, as far as the timing goes some people will talk about this being suspect the day this happened after super tuesday the day -- this bombshell dropped the day after super tuesday. it seems to me the judge, the
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prosecutors, everybody, were in a no-win situation. if you drop that news the night before super tuesday or before south carolina or before new hampshire you have to ability to actually change the way an election is run and i've been saying privately for several weeks now that they would have to drop this after super tuesday or else be accused of trying to influence a democratic election and it looks like that's exactly what they did. >> you're talking about the political side of it and it's remarkable the degree to which this has not played in the democratic primary. voters clearly have not been phased by it. hillary clinton has done very well. bernie sanders hasn't raised it, he's taken the position this is an fbi investigation, we'll let it play out and see what the fbi finds. if i can back to steven if he's still with us in london. there was an interesting nugget in your piece, people v talked about the comparison between what hillary clinton's state department is alleged to have done and what david petraeus pled guilty to have done and
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you've cited a federal law enforcement official who says petraeus's secrets were far more sensitive than the information on mrs. clinton's server. so what does that mean as prosecutors look at this? how do they -- do they think about petraeus when they think about how to pursue the prosecution of hillary clinton? >> we've been told the petraeus hangs heavily over this whole investigation at this point. to remind everyone, in his case, if you read its plea agreement, he acknowledges that he had made reference to highly classified code word secrets in the notebooks that he shared with the woman writing his biography. that indicated a deliberate act on his part and it was also recorded in one of the interviews she did with him and when they are looking at these e-mails they're looking for evidence like that. is there some indication that somebody deliberately typed in
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an e-mail, classified information that that would pass through this server. >> all right, you know, i -- does -- this is -- how can -- how at this point does anyone really -- i guess i'll let you take the hits here, joe. but she got her own server. she had a young guy set it up, he's been granted immunity. >> right. >> i don't understand how this ends well. >> i don't understand how it ends well, either. i don't think you have 100 to 150 fbi agents on the case, again, as i -- i've not only been told by multiple sources high in the administration but i've heard a multitude of people in washington hearing the same thing. i don't know how it ends well. i don't know how you grant immunity and also the argument that the campaign has been putting forward and clinton supporters have been putting forward over the past year that none of the documents were
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marked classified, that may play well in a debate and get applause, it doesn't play well with fbi agents who are looking at whether the secretary, whether the secretary's aides knew or should have known that what they were sending along was classified information. it doesn't have to be marked classified if you know it's classified. i had when i was a member of the arms services committee we would always go into secure rooms or into intel rooms. they would pass information to us, they would pass papers to us. we knew that i was tht was clas. nobody had to put a stamp on a piece of paper or our foreheads. if i had gone out and gone home and typed it on my aol account and sent it to an ambassador in luxembourg saying "i'll tell you what, there will be some troop movements next week after the
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uss "cole" was hit" i would know what i was doing. i would know as n my position as a member of the arms services committee that i was passing along classified. >> can we get into the other side of this argument before we indict hillary clinton? i'm listening for ten minutes to how she's going to jail. >> hold on a second, donny, stop talking so fast like a littler the your. >> stop talking so much, joe, and let someone else speak once in a while. >> you don't have to just blindly defend hillary clinton. >> you don't even know what i was going to say. >> i know you want -- you said "before we indict hillary clinton." nobody has indicted hillary clinton here but this is the immediate reaction, the pavlovian reaction to people that support hillary clinton when all we're trying to do is discuss the law and national security. i assure you, donny deutsch, nobody on this set was trying to indict hillary clinton, mika finish your thought then donnie go. >> i guess the question for
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donnie or for you and for hillary clinton supporters, of which, you know, there are many who are looking right now and thinking this is extremely slanted, here's the question, she's qualified. she's the most qualified candidate out there. she's focusing her message, she's reaching people. this is picking up steam, her campaign, it's clear. but if you want to know whether or not you can trust this candidate you have to have in answer to your mind why would you make speeches to wall street and big banks -- hold on -- and take a quarter million dollars for an hour? why would you do that when you know you're going to run for president between the time you were secretary of state and the time you decide you're going to run for president. why? >> well, mika -- >> hold on. why when you are the secretary of state would you set up your own private e-mail server in your home while you're running a foundation that deals with lots of different foreign governments? why?
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why? why? when you know that you might be running for president? i just want to know the simple answer to that question. is there one? >> i think you're conflating two things. >> i'm not. i'm just talking about the issue of -- >> you're talking about two separate things. first of all, i think -- >> i'm talking about trust. >> i think hillary clinton says it very well. i think hillary clinton's argument, a very compelling argument, is yes, i spoke at big banks, yes, they gave me money but look at my public record. look at what i've done when i was elected and when i took on wall street, look at that and judge me by what i've done then you can look and see whether -- >> you're avoiding the question on that. >> i'm saying why when you know you're going to run for president -- >> i'm not avoiding that question. >> and you know the question is going to come. >> because she wanted to make money. there's nothing wrong with making money. the question is does her making money influence her? can she be bought off by wall
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street? >> and that's the focus of this campaign. >> and i think the focus the if you look at her public report when she was elected, not bill clinton but when she was elected she has a public record that shows quite clearly that she can stand up to wall street, that she has stood up to wall street. even if she is friendly with wall street. you can stand up to forces -- >> okay, check that one off the list. i guess you can write that one off, but then now you move to the e-mail server. >> guys, can i jump in? >> and, by the way, on that one, that's not against the law. it's not against the law to give a speech to wall street and make money. if it were, a lot of people would be in jail right now. donny, go ahead. >> thank you. let's do the hillary thing. >> what hillary thing? >> the e-mail thing. if she is indicted, it's over. if not and if a staffer is and it doesn't play out like that, it has no effect. the fact that one staffer was granted immunity does not to the voting public at this point --
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there's not one voter changing their vote at this point. period. >> we agree with you. >> by the way, the fact the fbi is doing an information? a very serious thing but unless it ends up she's indicted, it has no effect, the same things that come back to donald trump -- hear me out on this. people are not acting rationally right now. we try to pick up these left brain items that happen here donald says one thing then says something else. we're dancing on the head of a pin. there's such big philosophical -- >> donny, let me help you here. when donald trump says something i find offensive, voters ignore. when you have an fbi investigation that sets up a server and you have a possibly a hundred fbi investigation and they're going to bring in
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hillary clinton and others to question her, that's not dancing on the head of a pin or a needle or whatever. that actually is significant. but you are right and we've said it here for a very long time, if hillary clinton is indicted it impacts the race. if hillary clinton is not indicted, it does not. it's that simple. >> my point i was making, you have to anti-trump people saying oh, trump university is a scam. unless it ever came out that he's breaking the law, his voters, his supporters don't care. we're dancing on the fringes here. my point is this, you could -- every person walking into the polls yesterday who was voting for donald trump, you could have said there is right now an attorney general who is pressing cases against donald trump that he frauded people out of $20,000 and $30000. it's not been proven and if it hasn't, not one voter will care. it's the same math on the hillary side. that's the point i'm making. >> we agree with your point. we've been saying for some time if hillary clinton doesn't get
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indicted it has no impact but what we're looking at right now the extraordinary situation that the day after donald trump wins super tuesday it looks like if he makes it to the general election, his general election opponent and democrats are -- i talked to one of the top officials in the obama administration last night who said he had been doing grief counseling all day from people saying "what happens if trump wins and hillary is indicted?" this is a real fear. talk about fear and loathing in washington, d.c., it's a real concern. >> but do we talk about the attorney general going after donald trump? it's just as vital a case. >> just hold on. no it's not. no it's not because right now you may have a criminal indictment attached. if, for instance, somebody -- i should haven't to explain this, this is making me so tired. if you have somebody close to donald trump that has set up a system that's under investigation and that person is granted immunity, then, yes, i will say donald trump is crude.
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we're not saying this about hillary clinton -- and we have to get out of this, this is so evident and this is one of the problems with washington, d.c. that everybody has been trying to make this clinton situation muddier than it should be. if the fbi grants somebody immunity then democrats that are concerned about a coming indictment have more reason to be concerned today than last night before the indictment. back to you, kmemika. >> i'm going to take the last word even though you want to respond to this. i'm saying to you, donny, and you, joe, i'm saying these questions are self-inflicted. why? we need her. why? they're so obviously self-inflicted. that's all i was asking and i'm tired of people telling me "it's just politics. he took that endorsement, it's just politics." it's not anymore, people are sick of it. and that's the rise of trump.
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still ahead on "morning joe," donald trump joins us live and up next we'll go to salt lake city ahead of mitt romney's speech today on the republican race for president. you're watching "morning joe," we'll be right back. it's not an anti aging face cream it's realizing beauty, doesn't stop at my chin. roc's formula adapts to delicate skin areas. my fine lines here, visibly reduced in 4 weeks. chest, neck and face cream from roc. methods, not miracles. we believe in the power of active management.management, by debating our research to find the best investments.
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just in, nbc news has learned new mexico governor susanna martinez will endorse marco rubio. meanwhile, former republican party nominee mitt romney about to address the state of the republican race. he'll make a formal speech in utah. governor romney not expected to endorse a candidate but will instead level a broadside against donald trump. he says modeled on ronald reagan's 1964 "time for choosing" speech. in excerpts released this morning, the former massachusetts governor leads trumps out of the candidates with serious policy proposals. that's just the beginning. joining us from salt lake city, peter alexander. peter, a preview of romney's speech, sir. >> willie, good morning to you from here in salt lake city. it's not clear mitt romney didn't think 140 characters on twitter was enough to say all he had to say about this race and donald trump. you said it right. we've seen these erpt these ex.
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it will be a harsh attack on hillary clinton and donald trump. he will not announce his own candidacy but he will slap trump as a phony and a fraud and a candidate who there threaten america's future. harsh words from mitt romney. romney slams current republican front-runner donald trump writing "here's what i know, donald trump is a phony, a fraud. his promises are as worthless as a degree from trump university. he's playing the american public for suckers. he gets a free ride to the white house and all we get is a lousy hat hat." adding "his domestic policies would lead to recession, his foreign policies would make america and the world less safe. he has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president and his personal qualities would mean america would cease to be a shining city on a hill." overnight, trump bre preempti
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preemptively fighting back and posting a facebook video questioning mitt romney's credentials. >> i will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose. >> romney's reemergence signaling urgency in the movement: highlighting trump's comments on race. >> i don't know anything about what you're even talking about with white supremacy. >> and his past business failures. >> he hides behind bankruptcy laws to duck paying his billis s and kill american jobs. >> reporter: still, trump's opposition remains divided? >> people, please, everyone get together so we can keep this front runner from winning and destroying the republican party. >> if you're at home and you've been supporting another republican candidate, i would tell you we would welcome you to our team. we would welcome you with open arms. >> reporter: the next showdown, tonight's melee in the motor city, pitting trump against his rivals and moderator megyn kelly, their first face to face
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meeting in seven months. >> i've been very nice to you although i could not be based on the way you have treated me. >> reporter: this morning, mitt romney took to his traditional megaphone, that's -- donald trump took to his traditional megaphone to respond on twitter. here's tweet he is put out within the last half hour. he wrote "why did mitt romney beg me for my endorsement four years ago?" also "i'm the only one who can beat hillary clinton, i'm not mitt romney who doesn't know how to win. hillary wants no part of trump." which, by the way, willie, this raises an important question for the establishment which is in an anti-establishment year, do many people think the sort of symbol of the establishment, mitt romney, will actually change the trajectory of the race with his comments about trump today? and separately mitt romney in many ways is the one who sort of welcomed trump into the tent by validating him so strongly during the endorsement he received from donald trump four years ago. >> what a fascinating dynamic. the last republican nominee leading the church against the current potential republican
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nominee. peter alexander in salt lake city, thanks so much. joe, what do you make of this? i know you remember mitt romney a lot. what do you think about him stepping out front as the guy leading the case against donald trump? >> well, if he wants to stop donald trump he could have qualified to run in california and several other states. a speech is just a speech is just a speech and it's only going to make donald trump stronger. if you want to lay out a scenario that can stop donald trump, mitt romney should announce he's going to run for president. he can still qualify for five, six, seven states. i think california, oregon, washington state then off scenario where donald trump could be stopped before the convention but if he's going out saying he's a fraud and phony, that will have everybody ask, willie, why were you so desperate to get his endorsement four years ago? i don't understand it. let's bring in bob costa right now u. sorry, go ahead, willie. >> i was going to say short of him getting in the race, which he's not expected to do, do you think this has an impact on
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donald trump other than helping him among his voters? >> of course, it only strengthens donald trump and all i would do if i were donald trump is i would go up and wave the endorsement and all the wonderful things mitt romney said about me at the endorsement so no i don't think it has impact. short of him jumping into the race saying "i'm going to run and qualify to run in california, washington state and oregon and i'm going to stop donald trump from getting the nomination" nothing else really matters here. it's just a waste of time. let's go to bob costa with the "washington post." bob, what can you tell us about the back story here? >> based on my reporting, joe, there's a real split in the republican party this morning. there are many in the romney orbit who think there's an incoherence to the attacks on trump. that the super pacs are not getting the job done and they're applauding romney for stepping forward to offer some kind of more cutting argument against trump but a lot of the campaigns, the rivals trying to compete, they're unhappy, they
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think romney's suffocating their own candidates, taking the headlines away when hay ear trying to get traction. the back story is romney has been in political winter, he's been hesitant to make an endorsement but he's frustrated by how the attacks haven't landed a punch. >> bob costa, there was rumor a week ago he was going to endorse marco rubio. did he decide not to endorse rubio because of his poor performance? >> not so much as poor performance. i think romney has been close personally to rubio. he backed anymore 2010 but romney wants to see wins on the board. he wants to see someone mount a challenge and become the chief rival to trump. he's been reluctant to get behind someone who hasn't assumed that mantle. >> bob costa, thank you very much. the republican front-runner donald trump joins us just ahead. stay with us.
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four years ago, is coming out today with a speech calling you a phony and a fraud and he says your promises are as phony as a degree from trump university. what is your reaction to mitt romney's attack against you? >> well, first of all, he's a pan who as you know begged me and i mean begged me for my endorsement four years ago. okay, that's fine. he failed in his campaign, it was a horribly run campaign. republicans didn't even go out to vote. he was a disaster the last month, month and a half, he wasn't on television, it was almost like he was lost and he ran one of the worst campaigns, as you know, in presidential history. that was an election that should have been won by the republicans. he was a catastrophe and i watched this happen and i wasn't happy about it and neither was anybody else. we backed him and i helped him and raised money for him but he didn't do the job, he didn't have the capability to do the job and he hasn't gotten any
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better, as far as other things are concerned, you probably see what's happening, the biggest story in all of politics isn't so much what's going on with mitt romney, it a test fact that the remembers are gaining millions and millions of people because of me. millions of people are joining the gop and they're leaving the democrats and they're leaving independents and they're joining the gop. >> let me ask you about that, it's one of the most stunning numbers we saw election night. chuck todd talked about it yesterday morning on the show that it's almost a complete reverse of what happened with barack obama in 2008 where record numbers of democrats were going out to the polls and actually it was an eight million to five million spread on super tuesday in '08 for the democrats. that's been -- and we're showing the chart on tv -- completely reversed around and this year it's now the republicans that are up to 8 million people. what is the difference? what do you think you are doing?
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what do you think you are saying that is bringing out these new voters. >> joe, it's a bigger number. and obama did a great job then, this is an even bigger number. the number of people going into the republican party is an even bigger number as the number that went in in the past, went in for obama and the democrats. so this is a huge story and it's the big story. they focus on romney who's just trying to stay relevant but the biggest story out there by the people that really understand it is the fact that the republican party is gaining millions and millions of people and you saw that with south carolina, you saw that with nevada. i went to nevada, the polling booths and i tell you what, you couldn't get within two 200 yards of the polling areas. places were packed and the people working there said mr. trump i've never seen anything like this and i've been at these booths for years and i've never seen anything like what's
quote
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happening. now, what they want to do, the establishment, they want to throw that out the window because if i get out, all those people are going. they're going with me, joe. china and all of these things, i've been saying it for a long time -- joe, we're losing our jobs. >> donald, let me ask you this. you suggested that if you got out these people were going with you. so you still willing to run as an independent if the republican party doesn't play fair by your rules? >> well, look, do i want to? no, i'm leading by a lot. but they're spending now $100 million on negative phony ads on trump university which, by the way, has at 98% approval rating by the students that took the course. 98%. that's why i won't set it will case. it would be easy for me to settle the case, it's a simple civil case. i could settle so easy but i
quote
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don't want to settle it. probably i should but i don't want to because i give them a great soundbite. but -- and i don't settle cases. you know chance? when you settle lawsuits, everybody sues you. i don't get sued because i don't settle cases, i win in court. >> what about the independent bid? are you keeping that option open if the republican party keeps attacking you? >> i signed a letter with the rnc and i said i want to do this as a republican, the pledge, as they call it but i'm not being treated the right way. i'm not being treated properly. i brought in millions and millions of people to the republican party and they're going to throw them away. whether i ran as an independent or not, those people will go out and vote. >> donald -- >> mika, they didn't vote for romney last time. they didn't exist because they were democrats and independents but they didn't vote for romney. the republicans didn't vote for romney last time.
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>> talk about a big tent. donald, you don't mince words and a lot of trump supporters say they like that about you. so you just called mitt romney a catastrophe and a disaster those are the two words i caught. you've called ted cruz a liar and a bad guy, marco a height weight. how would you characterize, to put this to rest, in more words than one david duke? >> david duke is a bad person who i disavowed on numerous occasions over the years and the one question that was asked of me i guess on cnn, he's having a great time, he talked about groups of people and i don't like to disavow groups if i don't know who they are. you could have federation of jewish philanthropies in groups. i don't know who the groups are. he's talking about disavowing groups. that's what i was referring to. but i disavowed him. i disavowed him. i disavowed the kkk. i just did the "today" show and it was the same thing. i said how many times do i have
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to disavow. do you want me to do it again for the 12th time? >> i want it on the record on this show. >> mika, just to put it clear, i disavowed him in the past, i disavow him now. it was very clear that i disavowed but the press doesn't want to go with it. they love the story. by the way, if you look at my twitter which took place just about the same time as that show, you'll see i disavowed right there, too. >> i have another question then i'm opening it up to the table. in our town hall in south carolina it was about 15 days ago i asked you to share with me three people you would consult with on foreign policy and you said you wouldn't because you would announce your team in a week. where is that team? who is that team? if that team is not put together yet, who are three people you would respect and consult with on foreign policy? >> mika, i've met and spoken to the team. i'm going to do it shortly. i don't think there's any rush but i've spoken to the members of the team and i'll do it
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shortly. you know at least one of the members of that team but i'll do it shortly i just don't want to do it now. i will have at the appropriate time you will get that information. i said? a week or two and it will be pretty much a week or two but i don't want to do it quite yet. >> certainly you can announce the team wherever you want but who do you respect on foreign policy? who do you turn to? >> i respect richard haass who's on your show a lot. i have a few people that i like and respect i think cane is a fantastic guy. i have respect for many of the people not only on your shows but many people that i'll do with that won't do television and are great thinkers. ultimately it's my thought more than anybody else's. when i see the policy of some of these people in our government, the policy -- we'll be in the middle east for another 15 years
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if we don't end up losing by that time because our country is disintegrating. we are spending trillions of dollars in the middle east and the infrastructure of our country is disintegrating. we should have never gone into iraq. that was a disaster and it never ends. it's just continuing and continuing. we have to beat isis, we have to take them out. the chopping off heads, we can't allow it to happen but i have great people and i'll let you know at the appropriate time. very soon. >> mike barnicle. >> donald, on the aforementioned trump university, the new york state attorney general eric schneiderman. >> who's a political hack, by the way, just so you note. mike, before you say it. do you know before he filed a suit -- and he was paid a campaign contribution by the law firm in california he was paid a big campaign contribution that brought this suit. and this is only a suit of people wanting to see if they can get their money back. but do you know that almost everybody in the lawsuit has signed a letter saying how great
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the school was? that's why i won't settle because it's an easy case to win in court. >> one of my questions is has he offered a settlement? offered y settlement? >> i don't think i've given him the opportunity because we -- you know, we're going to do very well in the case. how do you lose a case where people suing you have signed letters and affidavits saying that the school is terrific? do you know we have an a -- listen, we have an a from the better business bureau, we have a 98% approval rating. >> for people unfamiliar with trump university, how did it work. >> was it a semester long? would i get a bachelor of arts from trump university? >> it was different courses. it was different courses on, you know, real estate. >> how long? >> how to make deals and how to go about things, they got very good kits, very good everything, some very, very good people working there and it was a nice school. i mean, it wasn't a big deal for me, it was a small -- you know, it wasn't a business business for anything, but it was small, i thought it would be good.
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i could have settled this case, i could have settled the case a number of times, i could settle the case now if i wanted to settle the case. i don't settle cases. when i see these bankers that get paid $50 million a year and they're constantly with the government giving them $2 billion, $3 billion, $18 billion to settle cases i say, why are they settling? do you know what happens when you settle cases everybody sues you. at least with me, i don't settle cases very often. at least with me they know they have to go through the ringer >> it's willy. good morning. >> hi, willie. >> so the plan right now appears to be in the republican party for your opponents to stay in the race long enough to peel away delegates so you can't get that majority and clinch the nomination before you head to the convention. >> right. >> you have all these groups coming out today led by mitt romney, you have super pacs railing against you, foreign policy leaders writing a letter against you, all these people in the establishment, but do you have a plan, donald, for when you get to the convention if you don't have the majority of delegates that you need? what does that look like for you at the convention? how do you emerge out of that?
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>> look, willie, did i this for a very specific reason, our country is getting killed, we're getting killed at the borders and we're being killed on trade. we have a trade deficit this year with china $500 billion. japan, smaller numbers, but the same thing, next co $58 billion in trade deficit. we are getting killed by everybody. we have hacks negotiating deals. okay. people that -- workers in this country haven't had middle income workers haven't had a pay increase, willie, in 12 years. their salaries have essentially gone down when you adjust. they're making less now and they're working harder than they made 12 years ago. >> right. >> it's time to make a change. now, a real change by somebody who knows what he's doing. >> donald, i understand what you're saying there, but what do you do when you get to cleveland without a majority of the delegates? do you have a plan? >> willie, i will just do my best. look, i'm going to have more votes than anybody else, i brought millions and millions of people into the republican party
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in a short period of time. the only one that's going to beat hillary clinton is me because new york will be in play, michigan will be in play, great states will be in play that none of these people like a guy like marco rubio this guy doesn't even show up to vote in the senate. you know, he's ridiculous. he doesn't even show up to vote. he has defrauded the people of florida. the guy doesn't each show up to vote. i don't know what he's doing. here is the point, the point is i brought millions of people into a party, all of those people whether i do independent or not, joe, and willie, all of those people are going to leave the party, it they're going to go back to where they came from. >> so, donald, let me ask you this, donald, because i think this is really the question of the hour. there are many people predicting that you are going to win the nomination, i think personally you probably are going to wrap it up for the most part after you win in florida on march the 15th. let's say you wrap it up for the most part on march the 15th.
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what do you do to bring the republican party together? do you call paul ryan and say, hey, i know you don't like me but could i come and fly to washington and sit down with you in your office? do you call haley barber and go, haley, i know we have differences but i want to fly down to mississippi and sit in your office and have you tell me how i can be a better candidate for the republican party. will you reach out to these people who are saying -- i understand they're saying some very nasty things about you, but can you reach out and bury the hatchet and say, let's go together as one party? >> joe, i would have no problem doing it at all, but here is the problem, i have not been recognized for having done something that nobody has ever done before. we have a party that's stagnant and dying, we have a party that's -- >> right. >> all you have to do is ask mitt romney. millions of republicans -- i'm not talking about independents
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and democrats -- millions of republicans didn't show up last time to vote. >> i understand that, donald, and they understand that. the request he is when the war -- when the war is over and you have won the war -- >> i am watching television and i am seeing ad after ad after add put in by the establishment. >> i understand. >> knocking the hell out of me and it's really unfair. i want to tell you something. but if i leave, if i go, regardless of independent, which i may do, may or may not, but figure i will tell you these millions of people that joined, they've told them they're all coming with me. >> but, donald, you're missing the point. this is what happens in politics, people try to kill you and then they come together at the end. >> yeah, i know that. >> i'm asking are you capable after you beat them going to them humbly and say, okay, i need your help, let's bring this party together and just forget about that? >> well, i have no problem with that and actually at mar-a-lago
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when i made the speech the other night, i guess you call it a victory speech because i won by far more than anybody else, after i did that everybody was saying they really liked the tone and i said i'm a union fire. i actually am a union fire believe it or not. a lot of people find that hard to believe, but i will bring people together. i've always brought people together. i've always gotten along with people. you would understand that, mika would understand that. i get along with people. now, i'm being hit from 19 different angles right now so you have to fight, but ultimately i get along with people. so if the time comes and when and ask, who knows what's going to happen, but i will be able to get along and we will have a much bigger party, we will have a much more inclusive party. you know, the people that are joining are people from everywhere. it's an amazing and beautiful thing, but they're joining for me, joe, they're not joining for marco rubio and they're not joining for other people, they're joining for me. >> donald trump, thank you very much for coming on the show this morning.
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>> okay. thank you very much. >> all right. more "morning joe" in just a minute. it's not a quick fix. it's my decision to make beauty last. roc retinol started visibly reducing my fine lines and wrinkles in one week. and the longer i use it the better it works. retinol correxion from roc. methods, not miracles.
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good morning. it's thursday, march 3rd. welcome to "morning joe." we have a lot to get to this morning, some breaking news developing late last night. with us we have veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle, president and ceo of "politico" jim vandehei, jn n meach meachum, and in washington msnbc political analyst and former chairman of the republican national committee michael steele.
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managing editor of bloomberg politics, mark halperin also with us. mark, you obtained one of our top stories today, a copy of the speech that mitt romney is going to be giving later today. he is going to be slamming donald trump, calling him -- and i got this, willie -- mark got a little bit of exactly what he's going to say -- a calling him -- let me see if this is searingly clear enough, calling him a phoney, a fraud and playing the american people for suckers. so i guess he's not going to mince words today. >> and a stark contrast from four years ago when he stood with donald trump and sought his support when he was running for president. it's remarkable that mitt romney has become the lead hatchet man against donald trump, tweeting about him and now this press conference. the question is does it make any impact or does it allow donald trump to say there goes the establishment again, they are out to get us. >> i think that's exactly -- unless it's obamacare, unless you have a better option stop dissing it.
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ben carson, is he in or out? i don't really get it. we will get to that. >> take a guess. >> sort of -- i guess he is not going to do the debate. >> it was a pre-suspension. >> okay. >> first step. >> that happened, too. but first this developed late yesterday evening, a staffer for hillary clinton who helped set up her personal e-mail server has been granted immunity from the justice department according to the "washington post." citing a senior law enforcement official the paper reports bryan pagliano's cooperation was secured as part of an ongoing criminal investigation. pagliano worked on the clinton campaign and then helped set up the server in 2009 at the family home in chappaqua and was paid as a consultant. the justice department declined to comment as did pagliano's attorney. as for the clinton campaign a spokesman says he is pleased pagliano is cooperating with the doj noting they urged him to give evidence in september of 2015.
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instead, he invoked his fifth amendment rights while appearing before a closed door meeting of the benghazi committee. top senate committee chairman also offered him immunity at the time to testify. something has changed. since its discovery the server has been at the center of headlines, a federal investigation and a political tug of war between both parties. "the new york times" reports that the fbi could seek to question the former secretary of state and top aids in the coming weeks and that the investigation could be wrapped up by may. her campaign told the paper they've been cooperating and offered in august to meet with the justice department if needed. earlier this week the state department released the last of the trove of more than 50,000 pages of clinton's personal e-mails. more than 2,000 were marked classified, 22 were the highest level of sensitivity, top secret. clinton and the state department have said that none of the material was marked classified at the time it was sent. willie. >> let's get more on that.
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joining us now "washington post" national security reporter adam goldman who broke this story yesterday. help us comb through it a little bit. you report in the piece that the fbi is likely to want to interview secretary clinton herself and many of her aids. what is the peril for her as we look through all this? >> there's legal exposure. anytime you get in the room with fbi agents who are conducting a criminal investigation. as you might remember, we saw that with martha stewart who didn't do anything wrong until she talked to fbi agents and she lied to them. so this is -- there's a political question, there's a legal question for the hillary campaign. do they talk to fbi agents so they can wrap up this investigation, if she doesn't then, you know, her opponents in the race might say why isn't a potential president of the united states cooperating with the fbi. >> and this is one of only one of six investigations that's going on right now. if the fbi does extend this to a grand jury, if the justice
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department takes this up to prosecute and press charges here what is the worst outcome for hillary clinton in this case? >> you know, i don't want to say that hillary is the target of this investigation. i don't know that to be true. but certainly the fbi is looking at everybody -- anybody who sent or received this classified information. it's difficult to say what the worst outcome is. many people have told us that the investigation of general petraeus and his outcome really means that -- really could affect what happens in the hillary investigation. you know, he was hit with a misdemeanor in the end. if he did something that some people believe to be more egregious what are you going to do with please people? >> back up and define what it means to grant someone immunity, in what context would that happen? i think that's right there the underlying story. >> well, there are two types of immunity, there's transactional immunity which means we will give you immunity for every a bad thing you have ever done in
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your life and then there's use immunity, use immunity is just what are you telling me now? we're going to immunize you against that. anything you might have to say about the current situation. and that's the more common one which was probably what pagliano got. look, i think -- i think -- well, a, this is another indication this is a serious fbi investigation. and what it shows is that the fbi and prosecutors are doing what they need to do to complete this investigation. you needed brian pagliano to talk to you. you needed to hear from a guy who set up the server and what did he know. but he's just a bit player in this obviously because he didn't send or receive any of this classified information. so it's a sign that the investigation -- the investigation itself is progressing. >> okay. "the washington post" adam goldman, thank you very much. let's go around the table. everybody kind of give me a sense of what does this tell us, what do we know. i'll start with mark halperin. of course, you've been following
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this along with every other aspect of the investigations, so to speak. what does this tell us, what do we know? >> well, look, the fbi is as the clinton administration says doing a security review according to the "washington post" story and my sources, they've determined this was not handled well. the question is was it -- will it rise to the level of criminality. i think well before we got to that point either on the part of secretary clinton or anyone else, well before we got to that point there would be interviews and the clinton campaign has very cleverly now saying, look, we like this cooperation. secretary clinton will cooperate. we want to diminish the political impact that will come if she's called in to testify. probably not before a grand jury but simply an interview with fbi agents, but this is going to bring back democrats who were worried about bernie sanders for a while forgot to some extent politically about this investigation. there's no indication she will be indicted. there's no indication anyone will be indicted but the investigation continues and if it goes from a security
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investigation to a criminal investigation obviously that would be a huge problem for her. >> mike barnicle, can the campaign say this is much adieu about nothing, we've been trying to talk to them or is this something bigger? >> they won't say it's much adieu about nothing but they will say they're probably bad mr. pagliano is testifying with immunity because they view his testimony perhaps being favorable to hillary clinton's case, but the timetable for when he will be interviewed, i don't know what that is, but the timetable of this issue propping up certainly isn't helpful in the public's guy. >> jim, the timing? >> well, it's also a reminder for everyone who says donald trump can't win the presidency. if you look at those exit polls for hillary clinton, one, lower voter dump out, but number two the number of people long she's dishonest in the democratic party. the more this hangs out there the more is reinforces what people never liked about the clintons. >> john meesh n meachum, have y
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seen anything like this before? >> clob proponents always thought that this scandal and next thing will bring them down and they have endured. no one is writing a pre obituary but i would be very careful about that. >> michael steele, what will the republicans do with this do you think? are there any options for them here? >> definitely. there's the poisoned pill of having immunity being granted to someone associated with the hillary clinton operation, which has all kinds of nefarious undertones to it. so that's going to be the political spin on this and it's one more reason why people don't trust her, why they don't like her and have that kind of weigh down her campaign. i think the comments are on the table when you sum it all together for hillary this is a piece of baggage she does not want to carry but she has to. she's going to try to carry it lightly, the republicans are
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going to try to weight it down as much as they possibly can. we have our own problems as you know with donald trump and the infighting over him. that is going to take a sidestep to this because this has more political fodder longer term for the gop. >> this is an uneasy time, willie geist. >> as i said, this is one -- this is the fbi investigation, there are five other investigations including two out of the state department. so this story will be around for a while. now, as a republican candidates are set to meet tonight in detroit for their 11th debate there are multiple new efforts under way to stop the man who has won 10 of the first 15 contests. the prevailing strategy centers on denying donald trump to have enough delegates going into the convention rather than defeating him outright in the primary. several donors behind an anti-trump super pac are recruiting former jeb bush donors. the pac plans to spend millions in florida, missouri and illinois and that is just the beginning. with its leader former romney
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deputy campaign manager katie packer telling "politico" in 2012 we spent $10 million against newt gingrich in florida alone, this as the conservative club for growth announced it is putting $1.5 million behind this ad in florida. >> but who has trump ever actually taken on? he hides behind bankruptcy laws to duck paying his bills and kill american jobs. he even tried to kick an elderly widow out of her home through eminent domain. real tough guy. >> and as we mentioned at the top, the former standard bearer for the republican party, mitt romney, is about to address the state of the republican race, making a formal speech in utah this morning. romney is not expected to endorse a candidate but will instead level a broadside against donald trump, modeled on ronald reagan's 1964 time for choosing speech. in excerpts released this morning thanks to mark halperin the former massachusetts governor leaves trump out of the
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candidates with serious policy proposals saying donald trump says he add meyers vladimir putin while he has called george w. bush a liar. that is a twisted example of evil trumping good. he also says trump rel she is any poll that reflects what he thinks of himself, but polls are also saying that he will lose to hillary clinton, a person so untrustworthy and dishonest as hillary clinton must not become president, but a trump nomination enables her victory. romney is also expected to say donald trump is a phoney, a fraud, his promises are worthless as a degree from trump university. he is playing the american public for suckers. he gets a free ride to the white house and all we get is a lousy hat. his domestic policies would lead to recession, his foreign policies would make america and the world less safe. he has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president and his personal qualities would mean that america would cease to be a shining city on a hill. >> but trump did not wait for
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the barbs to come, tweeting last night looks like two time failed candidate mitt romney is going to be telling republicans how to get elected. not a good messenger. mark halperin, you have your hands on this speech, you've been processing. i mean, there are some problems here with mitt romney making this speech, are there not? >> well, he can't stop donald trump. the three candidates left in the ace race, kasich, cruz and rubio are the ones who will have to do this. these outside groups are part of a realization that if donald trump is going to be stopped from being the republican nominee it's going to have to happen in the next two weeks, particularly in florida and in ohio and maybe michigan, and mitt romney wants to try to frame the argument. he does have a unique voice in the party, this speech, the parts i've seen are very tough on trump and on hillary clinton and i don't think people should overstate the impact it can have, but on the day of the debate leading up to tonight's debate there will be a lot of discussion of the ideas that
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mitt romney is putting forward about donald trump and trump's reaction to it and that's part of what governor romney i think wants to see which is a more rigorous discussion of what his view is and what that wing of the party's view is of donald trump. >> mike barnicle. >> in talking to several romney people yesterday i got the impression that this has been building for a long time within the former governor. he's not going -- my understanding is he's not going to endorse anyone today, but what's your view of the background of this speech, the buildup to this speech? why is it happening now? >> there are a lot of people who would like governor romney to run. that's not what today is about. there are a lot of people who believe mitt romney needs to be part of speaking out against donald trump. he took his endorsement four years ago, he didn't make donald trump but he certainly was part of validating him as part of a important figure in the republican party four years ago. part of it is saying here is what i think about donald trump now, he has tweeted on the tax returns, tweeted on the kkk thing over the weekend, but this
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is an attempt before it's too late in the view of many people and i've been talking to people in the republican establishment now since super tuesday quite a bit, as have a lot of reporters, this is part of an effort that mitt romney wants to help lead to say to the party this is a huge mistake, don't nominate donald trump, it's not too late to look to one of these other three guys. part of what's built behind the scenes is governor romney is not sure which of the other three candidates is necessarily the one who can stop him so today he will praise cruz, rubio and kasich and say they are all good. >> i have a thought on that. >> that reflects the establishment's problem which is they don't see yet one person in the field who can stop donald trump, they're trying to do a group effort. >> meachum then willie. >> mark, can i ask you do you have any sense from the text or from what you have heard will romney at all deal with the fact that he sought the endorsement and received the endorsement last time? >> i don't know that he's explicitly going to engage on that based on what i've seen of the speech, but he's well aware, you know, what his team has said
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was it was a necessary thing to do in order to try to neutralize donald trump and in part an understanding at the time that donald trump was not an easily controlled political force, but i asked the same question whether this is -- he's going to sort of own up to that, but as i said they don't believe they made donald trump simply by taking his endorsement. >> let's take a look at that endorsement four years ago and a month, february 2nd, 2012. >> it's my honor, real honor, and privilege to endorse mitt romney. i've gotten -- [ applause ] >> mitt is tough, he's smart, he's sharp. he's not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country that we all love. so, governor romney, go out and get them. you can do it. >> thank you. thank you. thank you. [ applause ]
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>> there are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life. this is one of them. being in donald trump's magnificent hotel and having his endorsement is a delight. i'm so honored and pleased to have his endorsement and of course i'm looking for the endorsement of the people of nevada. [ applause ] >> donald trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the american people. i want to say thank you to donald trump for his endorsement. it means a great deal to me to have the endorsement of mr. trump and people across this country who care about the future of america. >> this is the problem. >> yeah. >> this is the problem. you can't get real now. you can't start telling the truth now. and that's what everybody is doing. this is the problem. michael steele, you heard from mark halperin saying mitt romney has a unique voice in the party. well, that's double-speak. we're going to hear him saying one thing out of his mouth a few
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years ago and another thing today. do you know what, if you don't having something to offer, if you're not going to jump in and get in the fight, then what is it that you're really saying or doing at this point? donald trump is going to eat him up. eat him alive. he's going to just throw this away. he's going to take that thing right there, instagram it, cut it together. i mean, we've already seen this story and it hasn't happened yet. i know how it ends. >> this is part of the problem. i don't know why they think this is going to work in the first place. i don't know who they think this is going to influence in the second place. keep in mind mitt romney lost 3 million republicans who did not even bother to show up at the polls in 2012 to vote for him because they did not support his campaign. so now to double back and to go after the very guy who has brought them back into the party, i mean, you cannot lose sight of the fact that regardless of what you think about donald trump and feel about him, the establishment is
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going to need this man if -- even if he is not the nominee because he's bringing voters back in who have not been a part of this process. >> that is correct. >> and not participated for some time. >> and they have a voice, too. >> and they have a voice. so you're going to go after the guy who they are now rallying behind. i don't understand what they think is going to happen here, but all this does in my view from what i'm hearing from around the country is strengthening donald trump's hand. >> i can tell you, this is going to strengthen donald trump. jim vandehei, have you heard from trump voters? they do have a voice and there are thousands of them going to his rallies and showing up at the polls. how many times do they have to say this, how many states have we done? you can't just rate him. you have to act. >> you have to act. everybody wants this profile encouraged because they're standing up to donald trump. where were you a month and a half ago? imagine if they had -- you talk about the club for growth they're going to put a million and a half in florida. who cares? it's going to move four people. they should have done it a month
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ago. listen, if you would have involved voters by 3% in virginia you would have had -- you would have potentially had a trump loss. if you did it in vermont or did it in arkansas you could have had him finish third in iowa, but nobody spent the money when it was tough to do and now i'm skeptical of all these stories you're talking about this morning. until you see real people put real money into real states all it is is like fun speculation and it's going to be too late by the time they act. still ahead on "morning joe," remember when the republicans needed two debate stages? not anymore. tonight's forum is down to the final four. plus it's starting to feel a lot out of a scene of bennie hill for members of what's left of the republican establishment. coming up one of them says he is resigned to embracing donald trump. but first here is bill karins who we always embrace with a check on the forecast. >> especially on these cold mornings, right, mika. good morning hugs for everyone. let's talk about this little mini snowstorm we will deal with. the cold air is place, negative 21s for this time of year even
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in maine is horrendous. it's cold across the ohio valley and mid-atlantic. there is a storm now over arkansas bringing some thunderstorms and rain now to areas of mississippi, alabama, a little light snow indianapolis and chicago, on the car as you walked out the door. this light snow is going across the ohio valley, not a big deal, shouldn't cause many problems. we are talking about maybe an inch or two. but later tonight or storm is going to energize and come off the mid-atlantic skoes and there will be a band of snow he, maybe enough to shovel, notice the d.c. area we only have you at about 1 or 2 inches of snow, but down towards richmond this could be a snowstorm, possibility of 4 inches of snow, even down a little bit into north carolina. not expecting a lot in philadelphia and new york, just a dusting possibly to an inch. washington, d.c. 1 to 2 inches, south side of town 3 inches. it will be a slippery morning drive. the best news of all for everyone is this is the last cold blast. here is the forecast next week. all the warm air heads to the east, 15 degrees above average. so we go from the 30s and wind
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chills in the 20s to feeling like it's going to be 60s and in some cases 70s. spring fever will be in full effect. we will be back with more analysis coming up here on "morning joe." stay tuned. oh, look... ...another anti-wrinkle cream in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair works... ...in one week. with the... fastest retinol formula. ...to visibly reduce wrinkles. neutrogena®.
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change the way you experience tv with x1 from xfinity. welcome back to "morning joe." let's bring in now republican front runner donald trump. donald, good to speak with you this morning. first of all, congratulations on a very big win super tuesday night. >> thank you. >> let's start with the news of the day. mitt romney, a man you endorsed four years ago, ask coming out today with a speech calling you a phoney and a fraud and he says that your promises are as phoney as a degree from trump university. what is your reaction to mitt romney's attack against you? >> well, first of all, he is a man who as you know, begged me,
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i mean, and i mean begged me for my endorsement four years ago. okay. so that's fine. he failed at his campaign, it was a horribly run campaign. republicans didn't even go out to vote. he was a disaster the last month, month and a half. he wasn't on television, it was almost like he was lost and he ran one of the worst campaigns, as you know, in presidential history. that was an election that should have been won by the republicans. he was a catastrophe and i watched this happen and i wasn't happy about it and neither was anybody else. we backed him and i helped him and i raised money for him and i did everything, but he didn't do the job. he didn't have the capability to do the job and he certainly hasn't gotten any better. as far as other things are concerned, we are -- you probably see what's happening. the biggest story in all of politics isn't so much what's going on with mitt romney, it's the fact that the republicans are gaining millions and millions of people because of me. millions of people are joining the gop and they're leaving the
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democrats and they're leaving independents and they're joining the gop. >> let me ask you about that because it's one of the most stunning numbers that we saw election night, i believe chuck todd talked about it yesterday morning on the show. that it's almost a complete reverse of what happened with barack obama in 2008. >> right. >> where record numbers of democrats were going out to the polls. >> right. >> actually it was an 8 million to 5 million spread on super tuesday in '08 for the democrats. that spin and we're showing the chart on tv completely reversed around and this year it's now the republicans that are up to 8 million people. what is the difference? what do you think you have doing? what do you think you are saying that are bringing out these new voters? >> well, joe, first of all, it's an even bigger number and obama did a great job then and this is an even bigger number. the number of people going into the republican party is an even bigger number as the number that went in in the past, went in for
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obama into the democrats. so this is a huge story and it's really the big story. now, they focus on romney who is just trying to stay relevant, but the biggest story out there by the people that really understand it is the fact that the republican party is gaining millions and millions of people and you saw that with south carolina, you saw that with nevada. i went to nevada the polling booths and you couldn't even get within -- you couldn't get within 200 yards of the polling areas, the places were packed and the people working there said, mr. trump, i have never seen anything like this and i've been at these booths for years and i have never seen anything like what's happening with the republican party. millions of people have joined. now, what they want to do is the establishment they want to throw that right out the window because if i get out all those people are going, they are all going with me, joe. look, china and all of these -- >> so -- donald -- donald, let me ask you this. let me ask you this. >> go ahead.
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>> you suggested that if you got out all of these people were going with you. so you still are willing to run as an independent if the republican party doesn't play fair by your rules? >> well, look, do i want to? no. i'm leading by a lot in the republicans, but they're spending now $100 million on negative phoney ads on trump university, which by the way has a 98% approval rating by the students that took the course. 98%. that's why i won't settle the case. it would be very easy for me to settle the case, it's a simple civil case, i could settle that case so easy, joe, and i don't want to settle it. probably i should but i don't want to because i give them a great sound bite that's probably why i should. i will win that case so easily. i don't settle cases. when you start settling lawsuits everybody sues you, i don't get sued too often because i don't settle cases i win cases in court. >> what about the independent bid, though? are you still keeping that
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option open if the republican party keeps attacking you? >> so i signed a letter with the rnc and i said, you know, i want to do this as a republican. the pledge as they call it. but i'm not being treated the right way. i am not being treated properly. i brought in millions and millions of people to the republican party and they're going to throw those people away. and i will be honest, joe, whether i ran as an independent or not, those people will never go out and vote. >> donald -- >> mika, they didn't vote for romney last night. they didn't even exist because they were democrats and independents, but they didn't vote for romney, the republicans didn't vote for romney last time. >> so, donald, you don't mince words and a lot of voters, a lot of trump supporters say they like that about you, so you just called mitt romney a catastrophe and a disaster, those are the two words i caught of many. you've called ted cruz a liar and a bad guy, marco a
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lightweight. how would you characterize to put this to rest how would you characterize in more words than one david duke? >> david duke is a bad person who i disavowed on numerous occasions over the years and the one question that was asked of me, i guess on cnn, he's having a great time, he talked about groups of people and i don't like to disavow groups if i don't know who they are. you could have federation of jewish fill an throw piece in groups, i don't know who the groups are. that's what i was referring to. but i disavowed him. i disavowed him, i disavowed the kkk, i just did the "today" show and it was the same thing and i said how many times do i have to disavow. do you want me to do it again for the 12th time? >> i want to know the record on this show. >> okay. mika, just to put it clear, i disavowed him in the past and i disavow him now and it was very clear that i disavowed, but the press doesn't want to go with it, they just love the story. by the way, if you look at my
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twitter, which took place just about the same time as that show, you will see i disavowed right there, too. >> donald trump, thank you very much for coming on the show this morning. >> okay. thank you very much. >> all right. more "morning joe" in just a minute. when you think what does it look like? is it becoming a better professor by being a more adventurous student? is it one day giving your daughter the opportunity she deserves? is it finally witnessing all the artistic wonders
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tonight's gop debate in michigan will be the smallest republican primary gathering yet, just four candidates will be participating, ben carson issued a statement yesterday saying he will not attend and
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that he sees no political path forward after super tuesday. this morning the detroit news has announced it is endorsing ohio governor john kasich ahead of michigan's primary. joining us now from detroit nbc news correspondent hallie jackson. what's the state of the carson campaign, is he in or out or in the middle? what's going on? >> reporter: effectively you've got to think that this is the end of the road for ben carson. we will find out more tomorrow at cpac back in washington when we expect that he will either endorse somebody else or talk more about what he plans to do, but at this point not participating in the debate, acknowledging that there is no path forward, this is really the end of the road it seems for ben carson. so what happened to his campaign? he was so hot, remember, back in the fall, back in september and october when people were really looking for that outsider candidate and they still are, but look at what happened in november and december, terror attacks, international crises around the world and here at home and carson struggled. he is that campaign shake up right around christmastime, right around the holidays and he
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never seemed to recover from that. one of the things that you heard from his revamped campaign staff and carson himself was i'm going to surprise you. he would say that to me before the debates, watch tonight, you will see a new ben carson, seeing in different, people are going to connect and that never seemed to happen with carson moving forward. you would come to him on these gates and he would stand there and it wasn't an impactful performance. the fact that he will not be on the debate stage i don't know that we will see much difference. you will see these three candidates aiming at donald trump, kasich, rubio and cruz, even though kasich not the position he wants to be in right at the bottom, his campaign for a while talked about michigan being an important state for them. they began down playing expectations a couple days ago, acknowledging that donald trump was looking strong here. guys. >> nbc's hallie jackson. thanks as always. back in august republican strategist alex cast yan knows bet against donald trump as the party's nominee. flash forward six months and alex is now telling republicans it's time to rally around trump. in an e-mail he writes, quote,
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it's not too late. there is a fant city effort -- it is too late. there is a fantasy effort to stop trump, thank you, alex -- like a fantasy campaign to stop yesterday but it exists only as the denial stage of grief. if ourself-indulgent republican part establishment had really wanted to prevent a takeover of the gop they should not have go gorged on political power while they failed to do anything to prevent the decline of the country. now trump has earned the nomination. he won it fair and square and we should respect that. it is too late for the limp gop establishment to ask their mommy to step in and rewrite the rules because they were humiliated for their impotence. if trump is going to be our nominee as i believe he is, it is our mission to support trump and make him the best nominee and president possible. >> alex joins us now from miami. wow. also with us deputy editor of
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the editorial page at the "wall street journal" brett stevens who has a pointed take on a potential trump presidency and we have the editor of "time magazine," nancy gibbs, the new cover story is on the plane with donald trump. can't wait to hear about that. alex, we will start with you. that was pretty stinging. but is that the bottom line here, are the people speaking and is the republican party and the establishment not listening? >> well, i think that is. you know, it's -- my concern here is the disrespect with which trump supporters are being treated right now. the republican establishment has failed. they are the washington generals of politics, the team that always loses to the harlem globetrotters and right now the insiders are saying, look, you don't have the right to fire us and i think that is the challenge. i mean, donny deutsch was saying this morning that trump
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supporters are acting irrationally. well, when the republican establishment has done nothing to rescue this country from decline and are only offering more of the same maybe it's not irrational that voters want to fire them and try something else. i think voters are very aware of donald trump warts and all, but sometimes it's more dangerous to continue on the current course. and i think if voters see that right now republicans want to rig the game against somebody who has won it fair and square, then that's what's the real danger to the republican party. >> okay. so let me now take it to brett stevens because mitt romney is going to call trump names today. >> yeah. >> and he's going to say in his speech that donald trump would lead our country into a depression or recession. >> right. better late than never. >> better late than never. okay. but mitt romney accepted donald trump's endorsement several years ago and even said that he would be good for our country's economy and that he creates
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jobs. you have said to me that endorsements should be taken with a grain of salt but that really -- that kind of falls flat. if the "wall street journal" endorses someone should we take it with a grain of salt? >> the "wall street journal" hasn't endorsed a candidate for -- >> how about "the new york times" or "washington post." >> when "the new york times" endorses someone you definitely should take it with a grain of salt. >> brett. >> holding mitt romney to account because in nevada o four years ago he accepted donald trump's endorsement i think is a pretty thin read to hold against him. i think it's unfortunate that romney didn't come out sooner and other heavy weights in the conservative establishment didn't come out sooner to denounce donald trump and are only doing so now that they're worried he might actually win, but i think it's statesmanlike of romney to point out that trump is a disaster for the country and disaster for the party and a disaster for the conservative movement. >> i think mitt romney he has a huge problem with donald trump
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should jump in the race and run and i hope that's what happens today, but i have to tell you it's not thin to take a look at his acceptance of donald trump's endorsement and hear mitt romney in his own words say donald trump would be good for the economy, that he has created jobs and say all these things that are simply not true that he simply does not believe. if you don't accept an endorsement -- >> you didn't come off the turnip truck yesterday. >> so this is just politics? >> it's politics. >> got it. >> to accept an endorsement from donald trump. >> that's not how my dad brought me up. i will tell you right now my dad doesn't accept -- >> this was long -- first of all, it's a shame that so much -- so much credibility has been given to donald trump, so much free press. >> by mitt romney. >> by people like mitt romney and other people who have taken money and endorsements -- >> by en wun who is giving him flattering free media so he hardly has to spend a penny of his own money. the point is mitt romney at least now knowing what donald trump has said about mccain,
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about megyn kelly, about the dilatoriness of which he disavowed the david duke nomination, his views on trade, his views on economics, the general disregard and disrespect for his fellow republicans, maybe you might say that four years we've seen who donald trump actually is as opposed to just a show man and a businessman. >> do you believe trump is a genuine conservative? >> no. >> so -- >> not remotely. i think donald trump is first of all maybe a populist but above all an opportunityist. i think donald trump thinks he's found the sweet spolt of american politics. i think he will be disabused in november. >> as a journal editorial man you believe that ideas have consequences. >> right. >> for more than 40 years you all have argued a particular kind of philosophy. are those ideas discredited? and if not why are they at least not strong enough to overcome the demagoguery of the moment?
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>> well, ironically i think one of the reasons donald trump has gained such strength is that we've had a very weak economy for the last eight years for the reasons that i don't think can be laid at the feet of paul ryan or the conservative establishment. it has a lot to do with the obama economy, 2% growth, a feeling that people have sort of never quite recovered from the 2009 recession or depression, if you will. so i think that's a large part of it. look, you know, would i say i wish the reach of the "wall street journal" were three times greater so people would understand the benefits of a free trading open market system? yes, i mean, i would be the first one to say i'd like to broader reach, but i don't think those ideas are discredited. by the way, just as donald trump may have a plurality of the republican party he doesn't yet have a majority. i think we are -- we are saying too soon that he's got this thing wrapped up. >> nancy, once again, the cover story on "time magazine" on the
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plane with donald trump as he just indicated trump has a sweet spot now of american politics, something that all of the other candidates based and part of it i agree with brett missing what happened in 2008 and 2009, but trump remains despite what you might think of him idealogically a truly fascinating character. >> he does and what david -- what david does and he has written brilliantly about trump as both a figure and a phenomenon for now for months, but i think what's important and gets at what alex was saying is that if we only focus and particularly right now we're going to watch for the next 15 days this extraordinary sole searching of every republican public figure of where do they come down, do we denounce him, do we endorse him? if we only focus on trump and not on his voters and him as a messenger and why is it that they are responding to him, then i think the republicans not only don't -- >> why do you think it is -- why do you think it is that they are responding to him the voters? >> i think it is because they
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are so absolutely determined to send a message to washington and to the political establishment and frankly to us in the media about how unprotected, left behind, discounted, frightened they feel by what they are seeing. so you can argue about whether those voters are right or wrong or whether trump's solutions to their fears are ones that are -- that they are right to embrace, but i think to only focus on the candidate and it's hard to take your eyes off him as everyone has said, but not look at why people are responding to him and what it is they are looking for, particularly those who disagree with him about whether it's about banning muslims or making for fewer even more tortuous or any of the things that have been called out as being unprecedented. >> so second time he is on the cover of "time magazine." is this free advertising? >> yeah, i think this man is an eighth grade bully who has understood that calling people losers is a political winner. i don't think he's particularly -- >> so he shouldn't be on the
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cover of time? >> no, i don't think so. well, maybe -- look, now he's newsworthy. >> have you guys ever put him on the front cover of the "wall street journal"? ? or do you have him in the humor section, too? >> he is -- he is now newsworthy because he is leading, but last summer when there was an opportunity to treat him as the joke that he should be treated as, he was puffed up and i think this has a lot to do -- >> brett, everyone said he was joke. >> he was puffed up by suck ups in the media to wanted to treat him as a serious candidate and now the country will pay the price. >> the media is electing donald trump. >> the media is helping to elect donald trump with covers like that. >> nancy, you should take that into consideration the next time you pick your covers. >> well, it's having to say that the media doesn't call him a bully or demagogue. >> when they are. >> look at the cover. i mean, to say we are not -- >> i've just seen this cover for the first time so now looking a little more closely i'm glad you
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have the demagogue part of it in there. >> but there is much more to it. there is more to it than that. >> thank you for -- >> to say that we shouldn't be covering him -- >> i won't judge your cover -- your story by its cover. i'm just now seeing this for the first time. i look forward to reading it, but i think it's a shame that donald trump has wafted so high by being given such a pass by so many people. >> brett stevens, don't hold back. thank you very much for coming on. alex thank you for your thoughts and nancy thanks for another great cover of "time magazine." we will be right back with much more "morning joe."
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okay. we have a minute left and we have kept brett, we've kept nancy. mike barnicle, veteran journalist and columnist, could you please mediate. >> yes. >> brett made great points, nancy made great points and we have been following trump. >> brett said the media has acted as suck ups for trump and momented them you say what. >> i say that trump became a big story and we've asked him tough questions every step of the way and i have the transcripts to prove it. >> you say. >> that the initial coverage when you go back to saying it was all so soft, i go back to reading one obit after another of everything he said where the media coverage was he can't possibly survive. he can't survive, john mccain
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not being a war hero, he can't survive megyn kelly. >> laughed, scoffed at. >> what would james k. who will k have said? >> how can i get numbers like that. >> he's gotten tremendous free coverage but i will say this, he also benefited from people like rush limbaugh, right wing talk radio talking him up as a plausible candidate for the republican party, that plus a lot of free made yeah on the main street media has helped propel this candidacy further than it should have gone and now we all have to look at this situation and say let's stop it before a disaster is inflicted on this country and on the policies. >> on the republican side we have a big mess and trump on the front page of time, on the democratic side the front runner is the most qualified, most passionate, most scrappy, most tough and we have a big race on our hands. steve kornacki picks up the coverage after a quick break. thanks for joining us here on "morning joe."
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